Twenty years of Special One: Anniversary of Mourinho to Chelsea

It has been 20 years since one of the most famous quotes a manager made in soccer history. Making his introductory press conference with Chelsea on June 3, 2004, Jose Mourinho embraced his early charisma and fiery personality. He immediately claimed Chelsea would be a contender in both England and Europe. Before his arrival, Chelsea […] It has been 20 years since one of the most famous quotes a manager made in soccer history. Making his introductory press conference with Chelsea on June 3, 2004, Jose Mourinho embraced his early charisma and fiery personality. He immediately claimed Chelsea would be a contender in both England and Europe. Before his arrival, Chelsea had one top-flight title in its history, but it finished as a runner-up to Arsenal’s invincible in the season prior. “I’m not a defender of old or new football managers,” Mourinho said. “I believe in good ones and bad ones, those who achieve success, and those who don’t. Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m a Champions League winner, and I think I’m a Special One.” Thus, Mourinho earned his moniker as the Special One. At the time, it was a brash statement for a 41-year-old coach, even if he did thrive in the Primeira Liga. The jump from Portugal to England was a massive change, and his managerial prowess would be put under pressure. In any case, the Portuguese did more than back up his claims. In that first season at Chelsea, Mourinho delivered the first top-flight title for Chelsea since 1954/55 to end a 49-year drought at Stamford Bridge. He also added a League Cup success and reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. Even though Champions League success eluded Mourinho while he was the Chelsea manager, he established the Blues as an elite side in Europe. Mourinho emerged as one of the top managers in Europe after ‘Special One’ His managerial performances with Chelsea showed that Mourinho was not far off in his estimation of his abilities. Yet, despite a domestic cup double in the 2006/07 season, Chelsea saw fit to part ways with Mourinho, bringing in Avram Grant in his stead. Following his two titles, Chelsea won one title in the next seven seasons. That frustration forced the English club to call him back. Unsurprisingly, Mourinho found success with another Premier League title in 2014/15 with the Blues tacking on another League Cup title that season. In between those stints, Mourinho picked up a sensational eight trophies. He won the treble with Inter Milan in the 2009/10 season, which made him the sixth coach to win the treble in European history. His impressive career led to 28 trophies as a manager. Additionally, he has been named Manager of the Year four times. Remarkably, that is with four different clubs in four countries. A new type of manager Honors have dried up since the glory days at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. This past season, Roma sacked Mourinho as the club struggled in Italy despite recent European successes. Now, the Portuguese finds himself as the next manager of Fenerbahce in Turkey. Mourinho has repeatedly stated that he wants to work jobs where the expectations are clear. With a talented cast of players at Fener, he could add more trophies to his immense cabinet. Even if that does not happen, Mourinho will always be known by soccer fans as the ‘Special One.’ PHOTOS: IMAGO

Twenty years of Special One: Anniversary of Mourinho to Chelsea
It has been 20 years since one of the most famous quotes a manager made in soccer history. Making his introductory press conference with Chelsea on June 3, 2004, Jose Mourinho embraced his early charisma and fiery personality. He immediately claimed Chelsea would be a contender in both England and Europe. Before his arrival, Chelsea […]

It has been 20 years since one of the most famous quotes a manager made in soccer history. Making his introductory press conference with Chelsea on June 3, 2004, Jose Mourinho embraced his early charisma and fiery personality. He immediately claimed Chelsea would be a contender in both England and Europe. Before his arrival, Chelsea had one top-flight title in its history, but it finished as a runner-up to Arsenal’s invincible in the season prior.

“I’m not a defender of old or new football managers,” Mourinho said. “I believe in good ones and bad ones, those who achieve success, and those who don’t. Please don’t call me arrogant, but I’m a Champions League winner, and I think I’m a Special One.”

Thus, Mourinho earned his moniker as the Special One. At the time, it was a brash statement for a 41-year-old coach, even if he did thrive in the Primeira Liga. The jump from Portugal to England was a massive change, and his managerial prowess would be put under pressure.

In any case, the Portuguese did more than back up his claims. In that first season at Chelsea, Mourinho delivered the first top-flight title for Chelsea since 1954/55 to end a 49-year drought at Stamford Bridge. He also added a League Cup success and reached the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. Even though Champions League success eluded Mourinho while he was the Chelsea manager, he established the Blues as an elite side in Europe.

Mourinho emerged as one of the top managers in Europe after ‘Special One’

His managerial performances with Chelsea showed that Mourinho was not far off in his estimation of his abilities. Yet, despite a domestic cup double in the 2006/07 season, Chelsea saw fit to part ways with Mourinho, bringing in Avram Grant in his stead. Following his two titles, Chelsea won one title in the next seven seasons. That frustration forced the English club to call him back. Unsurprisingly, Mourinho found success with another Premier League title in 2014/15 with the Blues tacking on another League Cup title that season.

In between those stints, Mourinho picked up a sensational eight trophies. He won the treble with Inter Milan in the 2009/10 season, which made him the sixth coach to win the treble in European history. His impressive career led to 28 trophies as a manager. Additionally, he has been named Manager of the Year four times. Remarkably, that is with four different clubs in four countries.

A new type of manager

Honors have dried up since the glory days at Chelsea, Real Madrid and Inter Milan. This past season, Roma sacked Mourinho as the club struggled in Italy despite recent European successes. Now, the Portuguese finds himself as the next manager of Fenerbahce in Turkey. Mourinho has repeatedly stated that he wants to work jobs where the expectations are clear. With a talented cast of players at Fener, he could add more trophies to his immense cabinet. Even if that does not happen, Mourinho will always be known by soccer fans as the ‘Special One.’

PHOTOS: IMAGO